Repeated links and accessibility

Colin Clark colin.clark at
Mon Jul 30 20:44:17 UTC 2007

Hi Sean,

Practically speaking, it does tend to help provide context to screen 
reader users by placing links close to other identifying information, at 
least in certain modes. The problem you point out is particularly an 
issue when the user is tabbing through or browsing the list of links on 
a page in isolation, which is done regularly.

I agree with Mike, that adding additional context in the title attribute 
of the link is a very good idea. Good placement will also be helpful for 

Ultimately, you may find that there are better UIs for the context that 
don't require repeating the same links over and over again. But in the 
meantime, the title attribute will do the trick nicely.


Sean Keesler wrote:
> Its interesting that you mention the placement of the link (in a table 
> cell or "right after" something relevant) as something that would make a 
> repeated link more accessible. My gut feeling is that that would not be 
> sufficient to meet the WCAG's. In fact, I would guess that the purpose 
> of the guideline is to prevent users from having to derive that context 
> using a screen reader but rather to make the purpose of the link 
> explicit in the link tag itself.
> ------------------------------
> Sean Keesler
> Project Manager
> The Living SchoolBook
> 030 Huntington Hall
> Syracuse University
> 315-443-3450
> On Jul 30, 2007, at 4:17 PM, Michael S Elledge wrote:
>> Hi Sean--
>> I think that having that information in the title tag makes sense. 
>> Users can set JAWS to read title tags by default, but if they don't, 
>> they can still understand the context of edit, etc. since it will be 
>> read immediately after the document. It may be helpful to add a column 
>> labeled "Actions" under which the edit, etc. items fall to provide 
>> added context, since I'm assuming this is setup in a table.
>> I don't recall if this was covered in the original style guide. 
>> Perhaps Gonzalo can shed some light there.
>> Mike
>> Sean Keesler wrote:
>>> Is there a recommendation from anyone on the best Sakai way to  
>>> display repeated links (ie: add-edit-delete) in a tool that meets  
>>> accessibility guidelines?
>>> I noticed the following table in OSP:
>>> Which has repeated links for every item attached to a matrix cell.  
>>> The easiest way to handle it (which would be ridiculous) would be to  
>>> have links like: "Edit SOE Proficiencies-Row: Proficiency 1; Column:  
>>> Stage 1-f2 1".
>>> I've read that some folks use title attributes in their anchor tags  
>>> to designate a difference between instances of similar links:
>>> ie:
>>> <a href="someplace" title="Edit SOE Proficiencies-Row: Proficiency 
>>> 1;  Column: Stage 1-f2 1">Edit</a>
>>> I didn't wander across a Design Pattern for there one? It  
>>> would seem to be a common enough issue to warrant a recommendation.
>>> ------------------------------
>>> Sean Keesler
>>> Project Manager
>>> The Living SchoolBook
>>> 030 Huntington Hall
>>> Syracuse University
>>> 315-443-3450
>>> _______________________________________________
>>> fluid-work mailing list
>>> fluid-work at
>>> <elledge.vcf>
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Colin Clark
Technical Lead, Fluid Project
Adaptive Technology Resource Centre, University of Toronto

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